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Commercial ties flourish between two partners as demand soars for hi-tech

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-13 08:06

In the past, the phrase "Made-In-Germany" would have suggested to most Chinese consumers products like cars, home appliances and beer.

But today Germany-made sensors, ship engines and industrial robots are among a range of high-tech goods helping to further boost Sino-German trade - to the extent that China has overtaken the United States and France as Germany's top trading partner.

"The future of Chinese-German business ties will be based on trade in high-end and consumer goods, and investment in the fields of infrastructure and service projects, manufacturing and multimodal logistics business," said Zhang Yunling, director of international studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Beijing.

He said even though the Chinese and German economies have felt the impact of weak global demand, the degree of bilateral trade has remained stable.

"China will continue to export consumer goods in exchange for Germany's high-tech products, such as electronic products, construction machinery, vehicles and parts, and medical equipment," said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen.

"Most of their imports are complementary. Therefore, it isn't direct competition."

Among the German companies at the forefront of this trading boom are tech giants Siemens AG and Robert Bosch.

In March, Siemens won orders for three gas turbines from Shanghai Orient Champion Paper Co and Hangzhou Jiande Datong Industrial Park. Last year it established its first innovation center in intelligent manufacturing outside Germany in Qingdao, in eastern Shandong province.

Lothar Herrmann, Siemens' China president, said his group will focus on the growth areas of electrification, automation and digitalization, as well as forming partnerships with more local companies to maintain robust growth.

Bosch, another German technology and services supplier, is planning a series of ventures in China after sales in the country last year reached a record high of 91.5 billion yuan ($13.48 billion).

These include a new joint venture for gasoline engine management systems in Chongqing, an automotive electronics plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, and a power tools plant in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Bosch invested 4.9 billion yuan in China last year.

Shi Yong, vice-president of the Beijing-based China Machinery Industry Information Research Institute, predicts more German investment and trade activities with China in the future.

Zhong Nan contributed to the story.

Commercial ties flourish between two partners as demand soars for hi-tech

(China Daily 10/13/2017 page11)

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